2019 Featured Speakers and Talent
We’re bringing together many of today’s brightest visionaries! This list is expanding so stay tuned for more additions!
Gavin Newsom is the Governor of California, former Lieutenant Governor of California, and former Mayor of San Francisco.
Newsom is widely recognized for his willingness to lead – repeatedly developing, advocating, and implementing innovative and groundbreaking solutions to some of our most challenging issues. On a wide range of topics including same-sex marriage, gun safety, marijuana, the death penalty, universal health care, access to preschool, technology, criminal justice reform, and the minimum wage, Newsom stuck his neck out and did the right thing, which often led to sweeping changes when his policies were ultimately accepted, embraced, and replicated across the state and nation.
Newsom’s top priorities for his administration are tackling our state’s affordability crisis, creating inclusive economic growth and opportunity for every child, and standing up for California values — from civil rights, to immigration, environmental protection, access to quality schools at all levels, and justice.
Governor Newsom is married to Jennifer Siebel Newsom. They have four children: Montana, Hunter, Brooklynn, and Dutch.
MUSICIANS, ARTIVISTS, SPEAKERS
Recognizing creativity as the antidote to destruction, Climbing PoeTree combines impassioned lyricism, political theater, and boundary-breaking music to activate the transformation the world is thirsty for. Co-creators Alixa Garcia and Naima Penniman have independently organized 36 national and international tours, taking their visionary work from South Africa to Cuba, including 11,000 miles across the U.S. on a bus fueled by recycled vegetable oil.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Climbing PoeTree assembled an all-women crew to deliver the award-winning Hurricane Season, a multimedia performance addressing unnatural disasters that featured local change-makers along 50 tour stops. Since then, Alixa and Naima have gathered over 10,000 handwritten stories from more than 10,000 people they’ve encountered on their journeys, and sewn them together into a massive colorful tapestry to dispel the myths that are created to keep us divided.
Beyond performers, these love-led luminaries are community organizers, compelling speakers, workshop facilitators, filmmakers, earth stewards, medicine-makers, muralists and mentors.
Climbing PoeTree has stirred crowds at diverse venues from the United Nations to Rikers Island Prison, Harlem Stage to Harvard University with their rebel-rousing anthems, bilingual ballads, and unconventional love songs. They have been featured alongside powerhouses such as Alicia Keys, Janelle Monáe, Alice Walker, Erykah Badu, Cornel West, and Angela Davis, who writes:
"Each time I have the pleasure of attending a performance by Climbing PoeTree, I feel enriched, renewed, and inspired. Alixa and Naima insist that poetry can change the world—and it is true that the urgency, power and beauty of their words impel us to keep striving for the radical futures toward which they gesture."
CHIEF EVANGELIST, BRAND MARKETING AT GOOGLE
Gopi Kallayil works with Google’s sales teams and customers to help grow customer brands through digital marketing. In his prior roles at Google, he led the marketing team for the company's flagship advertising product, AdWords, both in the Americas and Asia Pacific—and headed the marketing team for AdSense, Google's publisher-facing product.
Before joining Google, Gopi was on the management team of two Silicon Valley venture-funded startups. While a consultant with McKinsey & Co., he worked on engagements, helping the management teams of large corporations improve business performance and maximize revenues. He has also led large information technology projects for global corporations in India, China, and the United States.
Gopi earned his bachelor’s degree in electronics engineering from the National Institute of Technology in India. He received two master’s degrees in business administration—one from the Indian Institute of Management and another from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
In addition to being an avid yoga practitioner and teacher, Gopi is a triathlete, public speaker, global traveler, and Burning Man devotee. He has spoken at TEDx, Renaissance Weekend, The World Peace Festival, and Wisdom 2.0, and hosts a TV program on cable and YouTube called “Change Makers.” He is the author of two books, “The Happy Human” and “The Internet to the Inner-net,” published by Hay House. He has released two music albums titled “Kirtan Lounge.” Gopi holds a guest faculty position teaching brand marketing at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. He also sits on the Board of Directors of the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation.
CO-FOUNDER & CHIEF RELATIONSHIP STRATEGIST AT BIONEERS
Nina Simons, Co-founder and Chief Relationship Strategist at Bioneers, is a social entrepreneur passionate about reinventing leadership, restoring the feminine, and co-creating a healthy and equitable future for all life on Earth. An advocate for social and environmental healing, she speaks and teaches internationally on leadership and transformational social change and is dedicated to the value of creating truly diverse collaborations and connections among issues, leaders and movements.
Nina is co-editor of Moonrise: The Power of Women Leading from the Heart, and a contributor to Ecological and Social Healing: Multicultural Women’s Voices. She co-facilitates transformative leadership intensives and retreats on regenerative leadership through relational mindfulness. Nina received a Robert Rodale award in 2003 and was a recipient in 2017 of the Goi Peace Award. Her book, Nature, Culture & the Sacred: A Woman Listens for Leadership (Green Fire Press, 2019) has recently been awarded the Gold Nautilus Award.
Mayor Heidi Harmon
MAYOR OF SAN LUIS OBISPO
Heidi has been an advocate for positive solutions to local and global challenges for the past 30 years. She is a social, environmental, and gender justice leader and is committed to creating an equitable and sustainable world. Climate crisis brings into clear understanding that everything is connected and that the world thrives when people, planet and prosperity for all are centered. Now, Mayor of San Luis Obispo, Heidi has been able to turn protests into policies and lead the city to one of the most ambitious carbon neutrality goals in the United States.
A Clown who Became a Doctor To Bring his Hospital to the World
After he graduated from the Medical College of Virginia in 1971, Patch began what would become his life-long mission: The Gesundheit Institute. The pilot project, which ran from 1971 through 1983, saw over 15,000 patients visiting his large 6-bedroom communal home, shared with friends, fellow doctors, and patients. To support this radical hospital, friends took outside work to support the love that comes from helping others. As the pilot drawn to a close, Patch realized he needed to make his dream hospital a reality.
No one was going to “give” him a hospital – Patch had to go out into the world and find the hospital of his dreams. After 36 years, Patch remains energized and ready to take on the medical cure-focused for-profit industry.
- a free hospital that eliminates 90% of the cost of healthcare
- a hospital that isn’t filled with anxiety about how to treat patients
- a hospital that allows the doctors to connect with the patients at an intimate level
- a hospital that treats the care-givers and care-receivers as friends
- a hospital that welcomes complementary practices, rather than shuns them.
Patch lectures and performs over 200 days of the year. He has travelled throughout the world delivering his message of peace and love while challenging the audience to love and care about themselves, their community, and our planet. Every year, Patch leads 9 different missions to lead clowns into impoverished communities, war zones, refugee camps, and disaster areas. Patch’s dedication toward clowning has sparked a movement that has grown to independent clown groups in 120 countries.
Come, join the fun!
Sister Dr. Jenna
SPIRITUAL MENTOR, AUTHOR
Sister Dr. Jenna is a spiritual mentor, author, radio and tv personality, renowned speaker and founder of the Brahma Kumaris Meditation Museum in Maryland and Virginia. She serves as one of the evolutionary leaders in service to conscious evolution and was selected by empower a billion women 2020 as one of 100 most influential leaders of 2015. She sits on various advisory boards such as, million mammas movement, conscious good media, global women's network to mention a few.
Sister Dr. Jenna also served as a principal partner with the Oprah Winfrey Network and values partnerships on the belief team, a community of individuals from diverse spiritual, cultural and faith backgrounds and was awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters degree by St. Thomas Aquinas College for her many years of dedication and service to humanity. She is also a contributing author in the book, Mr. President – Interfaith Perspectives on the Historic Presidency of Barack H. Obama. Her mission is to decode critical current issues and offer a perspective for folks to find clarity, power, and insight. Sister Dr. Jenna’s voice of influence is particularly needed in the wake of tragedy and increasing violence in our world.
She has traveled to over 80 countries where she continues to provide practical life tools and solutions that empower people to foster and build stronger relationships. Her wisdom, peace, and compassion for humanity are expressed through the variety of initiatives she spearheads for youth, women, governments, and communities. She has collaborated with fortune 500 companies on key issues and her syndicated radio show, America Meditating is a popular global online show.
Sister Dr. Jenna is the recipient of numerous awards and proclamations including, the president’s lifetime national community service award, Everyday Hero Award by the Foundation for a Better Life, and the Friendship Archway awards, to name a few.
Through many collaborations, and countless performances over the course of 25 years, Youssoupha has developed thousands of fans all over the world. He has performed and recorded with many exceptional musicians.
Grammy nominated for his collaboration with Matisyahu (Youth), he has released albums with the late Charles Neville (Tree of Life), Midnite (For All), Steve Kimock, and a duet with Michael Franti (What I be), and performed live with India Arie, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Michael Kang of String Cheese Incident, Chris Berry Trio, Shimshai, and many others.
Youssoupha has performed at some of the most famous festivals and venues in the world including :The Hammerstein Ballroom NYC, The Warfield Theatre SF CA, The African Festival of the Arts Chicago, Reggae Rising, Reggae on the River CA, Stanford University, Salmon Arm Roots and Blues British Columbia, to name a few.
Elijah Ray is an international recording artist, vocalist, composer and multi-instrumentalist with a professional music career spanning more than 17 years.
As the superconductor of the Band of Light he produces music that crosses a wide variety of genres...from Acoustic Soul, Funk, World Beat, Dance / Pop and Rock... to soul stirring Piano Ballads, Symphonic Soundtracks, and Sound Healing.
His shining presence, gritty soul, and message of love invite the listener into an experience of what it is to be "in the BAND OF LIGHT'. His anthems, love songs and sonic hymns have transformed audiences all over the world. Many are calling his music the "soundtrack of the awakening." Both mystical and raw, Elijah’s charisma and musical prowess draws his audience into life’s nectar--spiritual, sexy, sweaty, gritty, and ecstatic.
Elijah, alone, generates a full band sound on most of his tracks, playing almost every instruments and arranging many of his pieces himself. He has mastered the art of solo touring--taking his audience from one dimension to another with just his voice, his loop-pedal and his guitar, Ruby.
He has toured the world from Bali to Ibiza to Egypt and the US at large. Elijah has played, collaborated and shared the stage with countless artists like Bibi McGill (Beyonce's Lead Guitarist), Jesse Carmichael (Maroon 5), Graham Nash, Andre Manga (Paul Simon), Ben Stiller, Donovon Frankenreiter, G Love, Brett Dennon, Bushwalla, the Luminaries, Tina Malia, Youssouphe Sidibe, Tubby Love, Jay ‘Bird” Koder, Michael Ruff, and many more.
Elijah has been featured in documentaries such as Indigo Evolution, and Living in Light, alongside such luminaries as Neale Donald Walsh, Dr. Matsuro Emoto, Doreen Virtue, Gangaji, Eli Jaxson-Bear and Panache Desai. Hecontinues to tour the world, release new music and broadcast live shows. Those who want more can experience Elijah’s work by attending a SoundLight Experience, retreats, vocal empowerment workshops, masterclasses, and a host of other community projects.
Founder & CEO of Conscious Good
With the belief that visual stories have the power to transform society, Trina launched Conscious Good, a community-driven media platform committed to elevating consciousness. Conscious Good envisions a world where every being feels connected to themselves, to each other and to something greater. To fulfill this vision, Conscious Good is raising awareness on the impact what we watch has on our wellbeing, increasing access to conscious media, and supporting visual storytellers and their work through its Creators Network and non-profit sister organization, Conscious Goodness.
One of Trina’s most notable career achievements was launching the Tribeca Film Festival for Robert De Niro and taking the reigns as its first Festival Director. Trina has also held leadership positions with entertainment companies such as Gaia, Prana Studios, Intrepid Pictures, Withoutabox (sold to Amazon), Film Independent, Turner Pictures and Carolco Pictures. Considered a leader in the conscious media movement, Trina has spoken at numerous national events on the topic of media/entertainment and its impact.
Trina received her MBA from NYU and her BA from UCLA. Trina is a certified Kundalini yoga teacher and was recently honored to join the group, Evolutionary Leaders.
September 11th, 2001, Mikki was in New York to meet with distributors regarding his debut feature film. He was among a group of civilians that rushed to the scene to aid in the search and rescue efforts under the rumble of the Wolrd Trade Center. After three days of digging for survivors, he returned to California with a new vision for his life and career.
In 2005, Mikki Willis launched Elevate Film Festival, a global competition that challenged filmmakers to focus on the good news and solutions of the world. The one-of-kind show earned the title of "The World's Largest Single Screen Film Event."
Proceeding a three year tour, the festival morphed into Elevate, a cause driven film production company and community. Elevate has created hundreds of breakthrough productions, including television series, documentaries, features films, music videos for multi-platinum artists, and viral videos that have accumulated more than 250 billion views.
Executive Director of Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY)
Born to a Black radical mother during the uprising of the Watts Rebellion and coming of age in South Central Los Angeles during the embittered racial relations and social unrest of the civil rights era ignited within Dr. Bankhead a passionate commitment to social justice advocacy and transformative community empowerment. Social Work Professor at California State University, Sacramento and Executive Director of Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY), Teiahsha Bankhead is a social justice activist, a restorative justice advocate, and a licensed psychotherapist with both MSW and Ph.D. degrees in social work. Her future is focused on expanding the work of RJ towards radical inclusivity and practicing restorative justice through an equity lens in ways that honor its indigenous roots.
Christine Marie Mason
FOUNDER OF ROSEBUD WOMAN
Christine is a six-time founder and CEO with several $100M+ exits, an author, yogi, purposeful teacher and speaker, a mom of four, and a grandmother. Her current endeavor, Rosebud Woman, invites a new conversation about women, women’s bodies, self-care and power. She is the co-founder and director of New Earth Mandala, a meditation, yoga and art center on Hawai’i. Christine has been teaching, studying and writing on yoga and consciousness since 2000, with an emphasis on bringing yoga into daily life and human systems. Her books include Indivisible, Bending the Bow, The Invitation, Love in the Face of Everything and the upcoming 9 Gifts.
Matthew Fox is a spiritual theologian, an Episcopal priest and an activist for gender justice and eco-justice. He has written 37 books that have been translated into 68languages over 70 times. Among them are Original Blessing, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, A Spirituality Named Compassion, The Reinvention of Work, The Hidden Spirituality of Men, Christian Mystics and The Pope’s War. He has contributed much to the rediscovery of Hildegard of Bingen, Meister Eckhart and Thomas Aquinas as pre-modern mystics and prophets. Fox holds a doctorate in the history and theology of spirituality from the Institut Catholique de Paris. The founder of the University of Creation Spirituality in California, he conducts dozens of workshops each year and is a visiting scholar at the Academy for the Love of Learning.
In joining the Episcopal church over 20 years ago, Fox has been working with young people to reinvent forms of worship by bringing elements of rave such as dance, dj, vj and more into the Western Liturgy. The Cosmic Mass has been celebrated over 100 times and in dozens of cities in North America.
Fox is recipient of the Abbey Courage of Conscience Peace Award (other recipients being the Dali Lama, Mother Teresa, Ernesto Cardenal and Rosa Parks), the Ghandi King Ikeda Award, the Tikkun National Ethics Award and other awards.
His latest books are Naming the Unnameable: 89 Wonderful and Useful Names for God…Including the Unnameable God; Stations of the Cosmic Christ; and The Lotus & the Rose: A Conversation Between Tibetan Buddhism & Mystical Christianity. He is currently a visiting scholar at the Academy of the Love of Learning in Santa Fe, NM and resides in Vallejo, California.
Executive Director, A Community for Peace
Visionary, passionate and fiercely dedicated to the empowerment of every victim of trauma and abuse, Elaine M. Whitefeather has spent her last 38 years in human service work, 36 of those years in the field of domestic violence.
Motivated by personal experiences that included childhood abuse, racial violence, sexual assault and cancer, she has turned these obstacles into opportunities of empowerment, healing and wholeness.
Elaine is a recognized authority in the field of domestic and family violence. She has created and resurrected over 40 domestic violence programs both nationally and internationally. In 1974 Elaine graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a Bachelor’s degree in Vocational Rehabilitation. She then combined her formal education with her vast training by cultural and spiritual leaders from around the world to build innovative, effective and progressive social programs. These ground-breaking curriculums have been established as models for the Family Support Centers serving military families and civilian communities from the Philippines to Hawaii; Southern California to her current service here in Sacramento County. This span of diversity is reflected in her own diverse ancestral heritage. She is Japanese, African American, Native American and German.
A professional speaker and published author, she has delivered keynotes that challenge, catalyze and inspire audiences from Domestic Violence Coalitions and organizations to businesses, faith based audiences; from the homeless to college students, locally and nationally. She is an ordained Interfaith minister and is part of the Greater Sacramento Interfaith Council and honored to open the California State Legislative and Senate session in prayer.
Elaine is currently the Executive Director of A Community For Peace, a trauma informed domestic violence and sexual assault crisis center in Sacramento County and CEO of Foundation For Peaceful Communities, a foundation developing and supporting social renewal projects and enterprises that empower under served and high risk populations.
CO-FOUNDER AND CEO OF EMPOWERMENT INSTITUTE
David Gershon, co-founder and CEO of Empowerment Institute has been called “the number one expert on social change.” He applies his visionary leadership and social change expertise to designing second order change solutions for cities, countries and the planet that enable the seemingly impossible to become possible. Over the past four decades the initiatives he’s designed have won many awards and achieved much recognition.
David is the author of twelve books, including the award-winning Social Change 2.0: A Blueprint for Reinventing Our World and the best-selling Empowerment: The Art of Creating Your Life as You Want It. He co-directs Empowerment Institute’s School for Transformative Social Change which empowers social entrepreneurs from around the world to design and implement second order change social innovations. He has lectured at Harvard, MIT, and Johns Hopkins and served as an advisor to the Clinton White House and the United Nations on empowerment.
He is currently working on an initiative called: “A Bottom-Up Grand Strategy to Reinvent the Planet: Building Second Order Change Capacity Around the Five Strategic Levers—Climate, Development Peace, Knowledge and Money.” David has dedicated his life to empowering humanity to believe we can create the world of our dreams and designing the strategies and tools to help us make this a reality.
Rabbi Michael Lerner
Author, Editor of Tikkun
Rabbi Michael Lerner is the editor of Tikkun: the prophetic and empathic Jewish, interfaith, and secular-humanist-and-atheist voice for those who seek a world of justice and compassion. His 12th book, Revolutionary Love, comes out in October. Cornel West, author of Race Matters and Prof. of African American Studies at Harvard U., says "Lerner is one of the most significant prophetic public intellectuals and spiritual leaders of our generation. Secular intellectuals and those who yearn for a major change in the direction of American society can learn a lot from reading his books.”
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE NETWORK OF SPIRITUAL PROGRESSIVES (NSP)
Cat Zavis is the Executive Director of the Network of Spiritual Progressives (NSP) and co-Editor of Tikkun magazine. She is also a collaborative divorce attorney, mediator, coach, and trainer in conflict resolution and empathic communication. She is currently pursuing Rabbinic ordination through Aleph – the Jewish Renewal Ordination Program.
Cat grounds her life and work in spiritual traditions and teachings, particularly in Judaism. She sees Torah as a radical liberatory theology that provides spiritual meaning and practices, as well as guidelines for how to live an ethical life. These values infuse her efforts with the NSP to build a movement of love and justice – one that actually embodies these values not only in the goals and outcomes it strives to achieve, but also in the movement itself. Cat adds a powerful voice to the discussion of how to integrate spiritual values and principles into our work as activists and in the political arena, why being visionary and idealistic is called for at this time, and how integrating spiritual values can bridge political divides and address systemic problems.
Author, Speaker & Viral Marketing Pioneer
Jonah Sachs is an author, speaker and viral marketing pioneer. His new approaches to digital media have been critical in bringing the ideals of social change — such as equity, empowerment, responsibility and transparency — to the forefront of business and popular culture.
Jonah helped to create some of the world’s first, and still most heralded, digital social change campaign. As co-founder of Free Range Studios, his work on Amnesty International’s blood diamonds viral film was seen by 20 million people and was delivered to every member of congress, helping drive the passage of the Clean Diamond Act.
He later helped to create “The Story of Stuff,” which, viewed by over 60 million people, marked a turning point in the fight to educate the public about the environmental and social impact of consumer goods. Jonah went onto to lead groundbreaking campaigns for Greenpeace, Human Rights Campaigns and the ACLU, as well as major brands including Microsoft and Patagonia.
Jonah’s work and opinions have been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, FOX News, Sundance Film Festival, NPR. Sachs also pens a column for Fast Company, which named him one of today’s 50 most influential social innovators.
Co-founder, MoveOn.org, LivingRoomConversation.org
Joan Blades is a co-founder of LivingRoomconversations.org an open source effort to rebuild respectful civil discourse across ideological, cultural and party lines while embracing our core-shared values, and a co-founder AllSidesforSchools.org a partnership between AllSides.com and Living Room Conversations. She is also a co-founder of MomsRising.org and MoveOn.org She is a co-author of The Custom-Fit Workplace, winner of a Nautilus book award in 2011 and The Motherhood Manifesto, which won the Ernesta Drinker Ballard Book Prize in 2007. Last century Joan was a software entrepreneur, a co-founder of Berkeley Systems - best known for the flying toaster and game You Don't Know Jack. A mediator (attorney) by training and inclination, she is a nature lover, artist and true believer in the power of citizens and our need to rebuild respectful civil discourse while embracing our core shared values.
Co-Founder & President, See Jane Do
Elisa is a speaker, coalition builder, strategist and visionary for gender parity and social justice. She is the co-founder, producer and host of the award-winning radio program and multimedia platform See Jane Do, co-founder of Indivisible Women, co-founder of 100 Women Change Hollywood: Partners in Parity and co-creator, founder and host of WonderLove and co-director of 50 Women Can Change the World in Media & Entertainment.
Elisa's work takes her around the world to discover and share the extraordinary stories and solutions in each of us. She hosts a weekly show for nationally acclaimed radio station KVMR and is the co-founder and director of the Passion into Action™ Women’s Conference, TEDxGrassValley, Raising Jane and the See Jane Do Media Lounge. She reaches thousands through partnership with like-minded organizations and develops organizational-wide initiatives, communications strategies for events and digital media campaigns that support women’s leadership and gender equity.
Elisa is an alumna of the Women’s Media Center Progressive Women’s Voices program, Take the Lead Women and the Vote, Run, Lead Go Run program. She holds a BA in Communications from San Francisco State and a MA in Organization Development & Leadership at the University of San Francisco. Learn more at www.seejanedo.com
John Wood, Jr.
Director of Media Development, Better Angels
John Randolph Wood, Jr. is a writer, public intellectual, community advocate and American political figure from Los Angeles, CA whose work has focused on creating dialogue and understanding between polarized communities. In 2014 Mr. Wood was California’s youngest active nominee for congress, challenging longstanding representative Maxine Waters, and featured on programs like The Larry Elder Show and in publications such as The National Review Online. His campaign was notable for its nonpartisan focus and its emphasis on cultivating empathetic collaboration across political and racial divides in Los Angeles. Subsequently Wood was elected Vice-Chairman of the Republican Party of Los Angeles County, a position he held from December 2014 to June of 2016. Tiring of the partisanship and cynicism of conventional party politics, Wood turned his attention to the cause of political depolarization. He now serves as director of media development at Better Angels, is cohost of The Better Angels Podcast and is the architect of Better Angels’ media network.
As a writer, Wood’s work has focused on the subjects of race, religion, public policy, social commentary, the intersection of politics and science and political and moral philosophy. His writings have been featured in Quillette, as well as Areo Magazine, Arc Digital, Better Angels Media, The Washington Times Communities, Reflections (a journal of the Yale School of Divinity), The Flash Report and Black Is Online. As a speaker he has spoken to a politically and professionally diverse range of audiences, including at the USC Unruh Institute of Politics, the Pepperdine School of Public Policy, Evergreen State College, Upswell Los Angles (an Independent Sector conference), Better Angels’ Founding Convention and The Village Square in Tallahassee, Florida.
Wood is the grandson of the late record industry pioneer Randy Wood, of Dot Records and Randy’s Record Shop fame. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and three children.
Board President and Co-Founder, Chill Sacramento
Laura Hansen is Board President and Co-Founder, Chill Sacramento, an organization dedicated to building healthy, safe communities where all residents feel they belong. Chill's most recent project is Compassionate Sacramento, a partnership with the City of Sacramento and many community organizations to raise the awareness of compassionate policy and decision-making in everyday life. She is an advisor to Compassionate California, a best-selling author, strategic business advisor, community organizer and volunteer.
John founded AllSides with the mission to free people from filter bubbles so they can better understand the world and each other. He also co-founded AllSidesForSchools.org. Both organizations are led and staffed by people across the political spectrum. Both strengthen our democracy and our social fabric.
John has over 25 years of high technology entrepreneurship, management and executive experience, leading product, marketing and consumer teams and divisions. He started by joining the original Microsoft Office team, later became the PM team lead for Netscape Navigator and the first consumer release of the Mozilla web browser (now known as Firefox). He also led ZoneAlarm at Check Point Software (online security), and co-founded Kavi Corp (web-based collaboration, later sold to Higher Logic). In the 80s, John was a Republican operative working for George H. W. Bush, Mitch McConnell, the Republican National Committee and others.
Principal Consultant, New World Associates
Dr. Roberto Vargas is a community organizer, organization psychologist, leadership coach, and ceremony leader. A community activist for over 50 years, his professional practice as a planning consultant and leadership trainer has involved providing consultations on community problem-solving, multicultural team-building, and proactive planning throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Sweden.
Founding director of several counseling centers and author of Family Activism: Empowering Your Community, Beginning with Family and Friends (Berrett-Koelher, San Francisco), his theory and tools for people empowerment, leadership development, and cultural activism are used by many.
I studied and worked in architecture, dreaming of one day owning a practice. For reasons I understood later, I decided not to pursue that path that I set out on. As I transitioned away from architecture, I developed a keen interest in wellbeing. I found movement and cleansing practices that lit me up unlike anything before. I became a teacher at The Dailey Method and began to unearth parts of myself that had been hiding. I found Vitaliti Wellness clean eating programs and discovered an even deeper relationship with my body.
My studies of meditation, yoga, and ayurveda began informing everything I pursued. Wellbeing became my personal priority. Awareness became my practice. When that became clear, tools began to flow to me. I received my 200 hour teaching certification from Stephanie Snyder and 250 hours in clinical ayurveda studies with DeAnna Batdorff. I teach vinyasa yoga, ayurvedic lifestyle, and I host gatherings and workshops that invite one to press pause.
There are few things more fulfilling to me than gathering people together and facilitating nourishment and connection.
Connect in Sonoma, California, or virtually at eltaff.com.
TEACHING STYLE //
I teach a vigorous vinyasa flow, accompanied by dynamic music, sprinkled with bhakti, and bookended with kirtan.
Author, Spiritual Messenger
Felipe Zimmer is a spiritual messenger and the author of Masters of Belief. He was born in Brazil and currently resides in California, United States. Born into a family that no one talked about spirituality or self-knowledge, at age 17 he spontaneously had a profound spiritual transformation, an inner experience that shifted his reality. However, it was only years later that he was able to understand this transformation, which he later began to share with those interested in experiencing for themselves.
He spent most of the last decade meditating on the essence of life. This led him to retreat to a house in the thick of nature, driven by the intention to discover himself on a deeper level and rediscover humanity as a whole. Without books, technologies or the presence of other people, Felipe looked at existence from beyond the mental meanderings of daily life. By expanding his consciousness, he was struck by inspiration not of this world but from what is beyond. It was then that he received the inspiration to write a book.
After this experience, Felipe decided to share with others what he had learned. He began to work with individuals and groups of people in southern Brazil who sought inner transformation. Recently graduated from a university and having a promising career ahead of him, Felipe left everything behind to live and share a spiritual message with people from all walks of life. Now he lives in the United States, where he extends his work to the rest of the world.
For more info, check out www.FelipeZimmer.com
Reverend Dr. Joy Johnson
Reverend Dr. Joy Johnson is President of Sacramento Area Congregations Together (SacACT) where she mobilizes public sentiment around social justice grounded in faith - working alongside clergy/leaders of varied faith traditions and ethnic backgrounds.
She is the founder, president of Life Matters, Inc. (LMI), a non-profit, social services organization providing life-transforming skill development to residents in low-income housing communities. She is a key leader and architect of Community Healing Circles around Racial and Community Trauma.
She is deeply committed to building bridges of unity among racially diverse faith leaders. Currently, she leads preacher-formation cohorts for the Ogilive Institute of Preaching at Fuller Seminary.
Dr. Johnson is a graduate of St. Mary’s College in Moraga, CA and has a doctorate degree from Sacramento Theological Seminary in Sacramento, CA. She has long served in pastoral leadership at the local church level and currently serves at Agape Alive Church in Roseville.
As a conscientious and gifted team builder, Pastor Joy cultivates collaborative and interdependent leadership teams to foster and maintain direction. She leads growing communities to strategically overcome opposition and achieve notable systems of social justice.
Renowned Electric Cellist, Vocalist & Composer
Jami Sieber is a celebrated pioneer of her instrument with an inspiring and fearless style of performance that has been recognized internationally. Sieber creates her own kind of world music, boasting immediate emotional impact and conveying a visionary presence that goes beyond the gorgeous melodies and tribal rhythms.
Reaching inside the soul with compositions that are lush and powerfully evocative, her music transforms from the deepest stillness to moving melodies and rhythms that light the heart on fire. Her life-long commitment to the environment, social justice, and the healing arts is at the heart of her music, reflecting a deep dedication to the arts as a medium to express the interconnectedness of all beings.
This sometimes ethereal, sometimes hard-edged musician has earned rave reviews throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. Employing looping devices and electronics to create sounds never before associated with the cello, Sieber transforms her solo instrument into an orchestra of sound that opens the heart, defies the mind, and sets the body dancing.
Sieber's musical path has traveled from classical to folk to rock/pop to where now she stands in her own genre-defying musical style. Since launching her solo career in 1994, she has performed her original compositions around the world, diving into dynamic collaborations with an extraordinary spectrum of dancers, actors, poets, visual artists, improvisers, vocalists, and instrumentalists that span the globe.
She has been commissioned to compose for film, (PBS American Masters - Dorothea Lange: Grab A Hunk of Lightning (2014), Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton (2013), Queen of the Sun (2010), Jews and Buddism: Belief Amended, Faith Revealed (1999)) theatre, (Orpheus, TS Crossing) dance, (Llory Wilson and Tallulah, Equus Dance Project, Facing East Dance Co.) and her compositions have been used in the popular video game – Braid. Jami Sieber has independently produced eight recordings on her label Out Front Music.
Creator of GameChangers 500
For more than a decade Andrew has been uniting the GameChangers of our time to evolve economics and address the systemic challenges we face.
In 2010 Andrew set out on a mission to showcase a new standard of success in business, which lead to the publication of GameChangers 500, a ranking of the world's top mission-driven businesses. Through this extensive research initiative, Andrew became a sought-after expert in what differentiates high-performing purpose-driven organizations, was featured in news media around the world, and earned a seat on an advisory council guiding federal legislation within the U.S. government. Purpose-driven pioneers like Patagonia, creators of tribe-like cultures such as Zappos, and cause champions like TOMS are among the organizations Andrew has studied and worked with through his journey.
By 2016 Andrew had witnessed many of the organizations he had praised as "best in the world" slip back into traditional profit-driven behavior. Using a Game Theory as a guide, Andrew began extensively exploring what it takes to truly "change the game", recognizing that behaviors in business are primarily driven by what we measure, incentivize, and reward, as well as how we lead and train. He is currently developing a new framework to clarify how we evolve economics to sustain win-win behaviors and speaks openly on the need to transcend the limits of capitalism.
He serves as an Entrepreneur in Residence Emeritus at UC San Diego, is on the board of the Pachamama Alliance, and addresses a diversity of audiences including students at the United Nations University for Peace, CEO’s of Asia’s largest banks, government officials in the U.A.E, and everything in between.
Andrew was born to Irish parents, raised in Canada, built a company in Costa Rica, and has lived around the world. While he considers Earth his primary home, he is most often found in the western United States enjoying the great outdoors.
Fumi Johns Stewart
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF MAY PEACE PREVAIL ON EARTH INTERNATIONAL
Fumi Johns Stewart was born in Tokyo, Japan and grew up with a sincere wish to bridge the two cultures of her American and Japanese parentage. Fumi was instrumental in introducing the Japanese based May Peace Prevail On Earth movement founded in 1954 to the international community in the early 1980’s.
She brought The Peace Pole Project out of Japan and helped to establish the international Peace Pole Movement. She assisted in opening the Headquarters of The World Peace Prayer Society which was registered as a non-profit organization in the state of New York in 1988. In 2019 the name was officially changed to May Peace Prevail On Earth International. Fumi also serves as US representative of the Fuji Sanctuary and the Goi Peace Foundation of Japan. She currently lives in San Francisco and travels extensively to promote May Peace Prevail On Earth activities.
Dr. Brian Swimme
Director of the Center for the Story of the Universe; Professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco
Brian Thomas Swimme is a professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Mathematics at the University of Oregon in 1978 for work in gravitational dynamics.
He brings the context of story to our understanding of the 13.7 billion year trajectory of cosmogenesis. Such a story, he feels, will assist in the emergence of a flourishing Earth community.
Swimme is the author of The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos and The Universe is a Green Dragon. He is co-author of The Universe Story, which is the result of a 10 year collaboration with cultural historian, Thomas Berry. Swimme is also the creator of three educational video series: Canticle to the Cosmos (1990), The Earth’s Imagination (1998), and The Powers of the Universe (2004).
He lectures widely and has presented at conferences sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, The World Bank, UNESCO, The United Nations Millennium Peace Summit, and the American Museum of Natural History.
Most recently he hosted and co-wrote, with Mary Evelyn Tucker, the 60 minute film Journey of the Universe, broadcast on PBS television stations nationwide. Journey of the Universe won the Northern California regional Emmy for Best Documentary, 2011. The Journey of the Universe book, ebook and ed series are published by and available from Yale University Press.
Co-founder of OneDome Global
Chris Deckker has been involved in creating transformational events and festivals for over 30 years. He is the founder of one of the UK's most successful alternative music clubs "Return to the Source" and record label, which gained international recognition in the 90’s. He is also the founder of the electronic music group Medicine Drum, one of the pioneering EDM acts to fuse dance beats with live acoustic instruments. In 1997 he founded "Earthdance International - The Global Festival for Peace", which grew to become the world's biggest synchronized music and dance event, uniting promoters from over 700 locations in 75 countries. Originally aimed at supporting Tibet, Earthdance has been described by the office of his Holiness the Dalai Lama "as the most successful global event of its kind aimed at supporting the Tibetan people." Earthdance now supports global charities worldwide. Chris’s latest adventures into pushing the boundaries of transformational events and media include UPLIFT (co-founder), a hybrid eco-conference and music festival and rapidly expanding internet media channel, and most currently, OneDome (co-founder), an immersive digital arts venue which launched in San Francisco in 2018.
Diversity & Inclusion Executive
Whitney Davis began her career at CBS over 13 years ago as a Page and worked her way up from Digital Journalist and Associate Producer for CBS News to Diversity and Inclusion Executive at the network. Davis was part of a team charged with educating and fostering a more inclusive culture while identifying new voices both in front and behind the camera. Disillusioned with a corporate culture unwilling to change, Davis resigned, a decision she chronicled in an open letter recently published in Variety. Davis is a proud wife and mother of twins who has found herself lending her voice to a movement that transcends race and gender in an effort to inspire a new generation of storytellers while shaping the landscape of an evolving corporate environment.
Philip M. Hellmich
Director of Peace at The Shift Network, Author
Philip M. Hellmich is a thought leader in creating a new narrative of peace, from inner peace to international peacebuilding. As the Director of Peace at The ShiftNetwork, Philip is the chief architect of the Summer of Peace, Yoga DaySummit and WorldPeace Library - online global forums that seek to inspire, inform and involve people in the many ways that peace is emerging around the world. He also is the co-lead faculty of the PeaceAmbassador Training. These peace programs provide skills training, inspirational stories, and powerful solutions from the world’s top peacebuilders, social change leaders, scientists, Indigenous elders and spiritual mentors.
Philip has dedicated most of his life to global and local peacebuilding initiatives, including 14 years with Search for Common Ground. He also served for four years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone where he lived and worked in small remote bush villages. A published writer, Philip is author of God and Conflict: A Search for Peace in a Time of Crisis with a Foreword by Lama Surya Das.
Philip serves as a board member of the Rasur Foundation International and adviser to The Global Peace Initiative of Women, The Gaiafield Project, American Museum of Peace and The Oracle Institute. Philip is a member of the Evolutionary Leaders Circle, a project of The Source of Synergy Foundation. He is a member of the Rotary eClub of World Peace. He is also a long-time meditation practitioner and enjoys studying and teaching about the parallels between inner and outer peace.
Brenda Gustin, Ph.D
WRITER, SPEAKER, EDUCATOR, HEALING FACILITATOR AND SOCIAL INNOVATOR
Brenda Gustin, Ph.D., is a writer, speaker, educator, healing facilitator and social innovator. As a mother, she collaborated to create a Sudbury School. After 18 years, she became co-director of The Radiant Health Center and educates in corporate and medical institutions. Tools of transcendence through yoga, meditation/mindfulness and complementary healing practices bring wellness and peace to the body and mind. Brenda enjoys collaborating and serving as a semiconductor bridging science, education and wellness through sacred geometry and the art of alchemy. Current projects include The Alchemy of Our Compassionate Wisdom and Power, The Charter for Compassion, Women and Girls Sector, Mercey Springs Foundation, Chill Sacramento, BraveHeart Women Global Community The Shift Network and Ananda Worldwide.
Dr. Erica Anderson
Renowned Clinical Psychologist & Expert in Transgender Healthcare
Erica E. Anderson, Ph.D. is an accomplished clinical psychologist, academic administrator, healthcare executive, professor, and consultant. During a career that spans 4 decades she has held academic appointments in health psychology, public health, clinical psychology, healthcare management and pediatrics. At The University of California San Francisco she serves on the faculty and medical staff of UCSF Benioff in behavioral pediatrics with involvement in the Child and Adolescent Gender Clinic in Pediatric Endocrinology. There she consults with transgender and gender nonconforming childen, adolescents, their families and other healthcare professionals and supports training of healthcare professional students and fellows in the rapidly advancing field of transgender healthcare.
At John F. Kennedy University she served as Professor of Clinical Psychology and previously served as Chair of the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, Chair of Graduate Psychology, and Dean of the Graduate School. At her previous University she founded and Chaired the Department of Health Sciences and Services and served as Professor of Healthcare Management. At JFKU she taught future psychologists and psychotherapists as she has throughout a long career in health professional education and training. Her special areas of interest include sexuality, gender issues, and trauma.In her private consulting practice through Anderson Health Strategies, L.L.C. Dr Anderson provides consultation to corporations on issues related to sexual and gender diversity and inclusion and success ( including gender transition) of transgender and gender nonconforming leaders. She provides clinical services to teenagers, adults, couples, and families focused upon Sexuality, Gender and Identity. www.drericaanderson.net
Dr Anderson has also appeared on television in the popular TV show in Sweden Allt for Sverige. She became the first openly transgender character in prime time television in Sweden and has been recognized there for her advocay and example as a transgender woman and professional. She was recognized in a full color “centerfold” feature article in the November(2016) issue of the Swedish Magazine QX , the largest circulation LGBTQ magazine in Scandinavia, and she is also on the cover and in a featured article in the December(2016) issue of Svensk Psykiatri, the journal of the Swedish Psychiatric Society, circulated among all psychiatrists and mental health professionals in Sweden. She was a finalist for two awards for the 2017 GayGala in Sweden, trans person of the year and in her show All for Sverige (Everything for Sweden) for best TV show in Sweden. Allt for Sverige is the recipient of the International Emmy for unscripted (reality show) TV show the year she was on the show. Allt for Sverige was also awarded the ‘Kristallen Award’ (Swedish Emmy) the first time the show had been so honored.
She has been an executive in a number of businesses including subsidiaries of Merck/Medco, United Healthcare, Integra, Primary Mental Health Care, and College Health Enterprises. In those organizations she served as Executive Vice President, Senior VIce President, President, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Executive Officer. She has served on numerous Boards of Directors and is sought out as an advisor, mentor, and executive coach.
Since 2016 Dr Anderson has served as the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Joan’s House a not for profilt organization creating a shelter and program for homeless and recently incarcerated transgender women in San Francisco. She serves on the Boards of several other organizations and professional societies, including currently as the Past President of the Northern California Group Psychotherapy Society. In 2018 she was elected President-Elect of USPATH, the newly created affiliate of WPATH, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. In the past several years she has lectured in various Universities in the USA and to audiences in Sweden, Europe, Brazil and Argentina. Dr Eric was an invited speaker at Europride in 2018 and that same year an invited speaker at the Human Rights Conference for Europe focused upon LGBTQIA+ rights in Europe. She has been celebrated throughout Sweden for her contribution to trans rights.She holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and an M.A. in Theology. She has studied at the University of Minnesota, the University of Southern California, and Fuller Theological Seminary.
She has published a number of articles in professional journals, chapters in scientific books, and has served as a consulting editor for several professional journals. She is currently writing a book on Transgender Sexuality. She was listed for many years in Who’s Who in America as Eric and in recent years as Erica, one of few individuals listed there both as a man and as a woman. She resides in Berkeley, California.
Devaa Haley Mitchell
CO-FOUNDER OF THE SHIFT NETWORK
Chief Transformation Officer, hosts Shift Network’s Inspiring Women Summit, facilitates our women’s programs, and designs facilitation and transformation strategies for many of our programs. Devaa’s background includes roles in the public benefit sector (Director at the Institute of Noetic Sciences and Exec. Director of Full Circle Fund), as well as the business sector (Boston Consulting Group). Devaa was ordained as an interfaith minister by the Chaplaincy Institute and received a BA and an MA from Stanford University. She was also awarded a fellowship from the Fulbright Foundation.
President & CEO of The Shift Network
Stephen Dinan is the co-founder and CEO of The Shift Network and a member of the Transformational Leadership Council and Evolutionary Leaders. The Shift Network was founded in 2010 and has served over 700,000 people worldwide, with customers in 150 countries. It delivers virtual summits, courses, and trainings featuring over 50 core faculty and 1,000 thought leaders in domains as diverse as spirituality, peace, holistic health, psychology, parenting, enlightened business, shamanism, indigenous wisdom, and sustainability.
As the former director of membership and marketing at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, he was the driving force behind the Shift in Action program and the One Minute Shift media series. He has been a featured speaker at the World Cultural Forum in China, the Alliance for a New Humanity in Costa Rica, Renovemos Mexico in Mexico City, and the University of Cuenca in Ecuador, as well as many US conferences, events, radio programs, and online summits. He is also the author of Sacred America, Sacred World: Fulfilling Our Mission in Service to All and Radical Spirit.
Stephen is a graduate of Stanford University (Human Biology) and the California Institute of Integral Studies (East-West Psychology). He helped create and directed the Esalen Institute’s Center for Theory & Research, a think tank for leading scholars, researchers, and teachers to explore human potential frontiers.
Stephen lives in San Rafael, California, with his beloved wife Devaa.
Assistant Vice Provost
Dereca Blackmon is a spiritual activist with over 30 years experience supporting communities in radical healing. She has a distinguished history of leadership and service in local and national organizing efforts on subjects as diverse as ethnic studies and police accountability. She currently serves as the an Assistant Vice Provost at Stanford University and CEO and Founder of the Inclusion Design Group, where she and her teams have trained over 20,000 people in cultural humility, radical healing and creating courageous conversations that are both safe and brave.
Ms. Blackmon co-led the effort to organize the Bay Area community response to the murder of Oscar Grant III. After mobilizing thousands of protestors and holding countless meetings and rallies she began to question the strategy of organizing “against” rather than “for.” She dedicated herself to a path of spiritual activism, becoming one of the nation’s leading speakers on the topic to packed audiences nationwide.
Founder and Executive Director, Institute for Responsible Technology
Jeffrey Smith is the leading consumer advocate promoting healthier non-GMO and organic food. A bestselling author and award-winning filmmaker, he has spoken in 45 countries and counseled world leaders on every continent on this subject.
Paola di Florio
Filmmaker, Founder & President of Counterpoint Films
Paola di Florio is an Oscar and Emmy-nominated filmmaker and TV producer whose work has featured extraordinary individuals and the triumph of the human spirit. Her films have been distributed theatrically throughout the world and broadcast on HBO, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS, CNN, Sundance Channel, Court TV, TLC and A&E.
She co-wrote & directed the critically-acclaimed AWAKE: The Life of Yogananda (one of the top-grossing indie documentaries of 2014-15) and served as a Series Producer on CNN’s Emmy-nominated The Seventies.
The New York Times described her work as “extraordinary” and “poignant…”
Los Angeles Times found it “deeply affecting, revelatory [and] gripping…”
Hollywood Reporter said that it “should be required viewing for all Americans.”
Di Florio graduated with honors from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She has served on film juries and panels, and guest lectured at UCLA, USC, Berkeley, Stanford and other universities and conferences. A mentor for teenage girls at the Spark Program, she is also a founding partner of Nerd Girls, a new media startup dedicated to creating new role models and empowering young women to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering, math and arts (STEAM).
Di Florio is married to filmmaker/author and Counterpoint Films partner Peter Rader, and is the proud mother of their two sons, Matteo and Luca.
Director: Business & Creative Affairs, Counterpoint Films
Peter Rader has worked as a film and television writer for 25 years, beginning with his first script, "Waterworld," which was produced by Universal in 1995. He has since developed numerous projects for industry leaders such as Steven Spielberg, Dino De Laurentiis and John Davis. In the nonfiction arena, Rader has worked on a number of award-winning documentary projects, including "AWAKE: The Life of Yogananda," which he produced and edited.
As an author, his first book, "Mike Wallace: A Life" (St. Martin’s Press, 2012), was a critically acclaimed biography of the legendary CBS journalist, which Rader was subsequently hired to adapt into a script for director Rob Reiner. More recently, he published "Playing to the Gods: Sarah Bernhardt, Eleonora Duse and the Rivalry that Changed Acting Forever" (Simon & Schuster, 2018), which is being adapted for the screen by Emmy & Golden Globe-winner Michael Sucsy.
Rader attended Harvard University, where he graduated magna cum laude. He is accomplished in a broad range of fields, including music and photography.
Jess Magic is a "heartist", a soul-stirring songstress, and a catalyzing force for love amongst today's generation of change-makers.
More than a singer, Jess Magic is a musical story-teller who creates compelling opportunities for people to interact with life from an open heart. In a world where so many are longing for deeper levels of connection, authentic expression and intimacy, Jess weaves a "spell" of love with each song, story and event to reveal aspects of the human experience that crack open the hearts of those who are touched by her presence.
As an emcee (a.k.a. "Mistress of Ceremonies"), a speaker and a social entrepreneur, Jess Magic uses her voice and charismatic presence to break down barriers between artist and audience, giving people permission to drop the masks and be seen in their most raw, joyful and sincere expression.
Jess has been touring nationally and internationally for four years, including San Francisco, Harlem, Necker Island, New Zealand, Israel, Morocco, Bali, Mexico, Washington DC and Costa Rica, offering her virtual Free Your Voice programs, Feminine Embodiment Retreats and offering live Soul Salons where she blends story-telling with original music and improvisation, inviting the audience and other performing artists to be a part of the creative process.
Magic traverses diverse cultural landscapes by connecting directly to the aspects of humanity that anyone and everyone can connect with. She was invited by the All Ladies League to perform at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Women Economic Forum in New Delhi for 1500 women from 155 different countries, and the black tie Women in Leadership Gala at the 2016 COPP 22 in Marrakech. She has offered her Free Your Voice program and original gospel music at California's Lightning in a Bottle festival and Burning Man, been a featured speaker and performer at Costa Rica's Envision Festival, was the nightly emcee at Bali Spirit Festival 2018, a featured presenter at MindValley’s A-Fest 2018 and a keynote contributor for the Resonance Academy Retreat 2019.
Her universal message to connect to the wisdom of our hearts transcends race, age, culture, socio-economic status and appeals to some of the most tender, resilient, and sacred aspects of the human experience .
She has supported thousands of men and women in overcoming the shame, fear, and self-judgment so they can live more fulfilling lives. “Ms. Magic” was recently featured in the New York Times for her traveling Soul Salons, and work bringing more love and connection into the lives “tech elites”.
Her favorite saying is “We don’t sing to be good. We sing to be free."
Founding Partner, Renewal Funds
Joel Solomon is a Founding Partner of Renewal Funds, Canada's largest mission venture capital firm, at $200m+ assets under management. Investing in Organics and EnviroTech in Canada and the USA, Renewal Funds is GIIRS-rated, a founding Canadian B Corp (5x “Best for the World”), a “1% for the Planet” member, recognized as ImpactAssets “Top 50 impact fund managers.”
With visionary investor Carol Newell, Joel co-founded Renewal Partners to invest in sustainable businesses including Stonyfield Yoghurt, Seventh Generation, and Happy Planet. Together, they pioneered a “whole portfolio activation to mission” strategy, using a social change investing approach, with a regional sustainable economy focus. Joel Co-Produces the Integrated Capital Institute with Akaya Windwood, Marian Moore and RSF Social Finance. He is the author of The Clean Money Revolution: Re-Inventing Power, Purpose & Capitalism, with Co-Author Tyee Bridge. Joel is a frequent public speaker, including a TEDxVancouver talk. He is a founding member of Social Venture Circle (SVC), Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), the Tides Canada Foundation, and recently completed a quarter century as board chair of Hollyhock. Joel was awarded a “Lifetime Achievement” Award from the Social Venture Circle, and was inducted with Carol Newell into the SVC “Hall of Fame”.
Sound Healing Practitioner
Minna Sivola is a certified sound healing practitioner (California Institute of Integral Studies, CA and Sound and Music Institute, NY), teacher, mentor and owner of Your Sound Connection. Minna worked for 17 years at Nokia Corporation as a Senior Sourcing Manager dealing with timezone differences, multitasking, demanding deadlines and ever changing requirements. Sleeping disorder, high blood pressure and difficulties to focus became very familiar. When co-workers started to leave for long sick leaves suffering from burnout, it was time to look for options how to prevent that happening.
Over the years Minna tried various forms of meditation, yoga and other somatic practices. Eventually she was introduced to the use of sound vibration as a vehicle for well-being and balance. This discovery triggered profound and valuable insights on ways to assist people to become more present, and fostering relaxation in the body and the mind by implementing sound centering tools.
Built on Minna’s direct experience and extensive studies on the effective and affective power of sound in stress management, she has created the thriving Sound Rejuvenation Program in the San Francisco Bay Area corporations.
Dr. Roger Jahnke
CEO, Health Action Synergies
Dr. Roger Jahnke, OMD has dedicated his professional life as a Doctor of Chinese Medicine to sharing the powerful holistic healing traditions of China.
Author of The Healer Within and The Healing Promise of Qi, Dr. Jahnke has been a practitioner of Qigong and Tai Chi for over four decades. He serves as Director and Lead Trainer of the Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi (IIQTC) and as a consultant to hospitals, social service agencies, and corporations on complementary and integrative medicine, wellness, and medical cost reduction.
Dr. Jahnke is renowned for the clarity, compassion, humor and depth of his teaching style. Along with colleagues at the IIQTC Dr. Jahnke has contributed to the research evidence base supporting the practice of Qigong and Tai Chi, and has trained over two thousand teachers and practice leaders around the world.